Fresh Produce Business Hubs (FPBHs)
The development of the FPBHs has its roots in the Vision 2030, National Development Plans of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and forestry (MAWF). It is part of the Government’s programmes aimed at contributing production, processing, marketing and distribution. The facilities are very important in that they will present a platform for farmers to market their produce as well as provide a common place where local retailers can source their produce for distribution in the domestic and international markets. Furthermore, they will also potentially contribute to skills development and transfer to Namibians that will be employed in the processing and value addition facilities.
It is common knowledge that the absence of these facilities has resulted in a substantial tonnage of Namibian originating horticultural fresh produce being marketed through third parties/countries. As a result, Namibian consumers suff er the most, as they have to pay the transportation and foreign handling charges, which are passed on to them. It is logically expected that the new development should mitigate such costs, while improving Namibia’s trade balance for these commodities. The rationale for the development of FPBHs is that the Government through MAWF is rendering services to crop producers to increase food production, thereby contributing to food security in the country both at national and household levels. FPBHs will create business opportunities for processing, marketing and value addition of fresh produce, through industrial activities such as sorting, cleaning, grading, juicing, packing, branding, drying, bottling and canning.
Other economic benefi ts expected from the FPBHs include, but are not limited to the stimulation of the domestic economic activity, employment creation, technology and skills transfer, quality assurance, aff ordable access to nutrition, increase domestic market share of Namibian horticultural produce, increase foreign currency earnings from horticultural exports, etc.
TRADE WITH US:
AMTA Fresh Produce Business Hubs operate in Rundu and Ongwediva. If you are a producer, AMTA is here to make your life easier. The following services are available at both hubs:
Training of Fresh Produce Farmers
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has embarked on a programme of training fresh produce farmers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). These international best practices are aimed at ensuring that the farmers produce safe food for consumption. The training is aimed primarily at smallscale farmers both in green schemes and also in private/communal farmers. Commercial farmers can also be integrated into the programme. So far, the programme has trained over 200 farmers in the northern and southern parts of the country on GAPs. These farmers were chosen for their capacity to train other farmers in their groups on skills that they learnt. The programme ends in October 2014, during which all fresh produce farmers in the country would have been trained on practical production skills and international best practices on GAPs. The aim is to ensure that fresh produce from Namibia are safe for any consumer anywhere, and can be traded in Namibia, the region and across the world as they meet international standards. This way we will be opening the market opportunities for our fresh produce farmers beyond our borders. Adherence to food safety standards is important especially considering the need for Namibia to replace imported fresh produce in local markets with local fresh produce of equal or higher standards.